Remembering Alma Mater: Oral History and the Documentation of Student Culture

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For over a half century, archivists have debated the role of oral history in archives and libraries. While most agree that oral history is a valuable resource, many see its practice as an "extra" activity involving extensive funding, training, and time. When undertaken with careful planning and research, however, oral history offers endless possibilities for the academic archives. Through discussion of an alumni oral history project at the University of Illinois' Student Life and Culture Archival Program, this article illustrates how oral history not only strengthens the research potential of existing collections, but also enhances traditional archival activities, such as collection development and user service. In turn, oral history presents new avenues for outreach programming on the campus, in the community, and beyond.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-143
JournalArchival Issues
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002


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